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Dana’s writing… brings the meaning of the planets to life like no other writer in this field. She’s the Meryl Streep of astrological writers: smart, sane, and insightful...” Jeff Jawer, The Mountain Astrologer
Astrologers use a variety of house systems, or methods of dividing up the sky into twelve sections. I use the Porphyry house system; another popular house system is Placidus (this is the default on https://astro.com). If the chart I send you looks different from what you are used to seeing, then likely a system other than Porphyry was used. Whole signs, Equal House, Regiomantus, and Campanus are examples of other systems. If you find all of this confusing, do not worry. It is likely not critical to your report.
m Conjunction: Like peas in a pod, planets in conjunction tend to come from the same place. They act together, but it’s also hard to tell them apart. This aspect can increase talent, focus, and intensity (“two are better than one”). Or one planet can disappear as the other dominates. Their connection feels so natural, it’s easy to think everyone blends these planetary energies just as you do—but mostly, they don’t!.
p Sextile: Planets in sextile are compatible, though without any fireworks. This aspect doesn’t demand your attention. It quietly presents an opportunity. You can join these archetypal forces. Donna Cunningham has called this the “Oh, that!” aspect, because that’s generally what her clients say when she describes their benefits. To get the most from sextiles you need to actively work them.
q Square: Squares are wild and wonderful—but difficult too. The power struggle between these planets was likely defined in your youth, when they were impossibly challenging. People are usually aware of their squares. They force the issues that make you to grow. And that’s their gift. They ensure you learn your lessons. When you rise to the occasion, they bless you with energy, action, and success.
r Trine: Michael Munkasey has dubbed this the “goddess aspect” because it’s so lovely. Identifying talents you may have perfected in a previous life, trines can bring you joy. There’s a nice flow of energy between planets in trine. They support and reinforce each another. But without any struggle, you might take them for granted—neither using nor developing their gifts. An unattended trine can sometimes trick you into negative behaviors.
t Inconjunct/Quincunx: Your quincunx planets are innately incompatible. Bringing them into harmonious expression requires constant adjustments. This can be stressful, also motivating. You’ve got to keep changing your process, opinions or attitude—which promotes highly creative solutions.
u Opposition: They say opposites attract—and planets in opposition are never far from each other, though they’re constantly bickering. You may be triggered into awareness of this aspect by other people who seem to resist or undermine you. An opposition can make you feel uncertain, insecure, or discontent, until you can accept and see yourself in both energies. Typically people find it easier to identify with one side and project the other onto unsuspecting others in the outer world.
First House: Personality, physical body, beginnings. Includes the Ascendant and rules physical appearance, the image you project to others, your general outlook on life, how you start things; may describe your role in your family system, often guides your first impression of immediate environment.
Second House: Money and personal finances, sense of self-worth and basic values, personal possessions, talents.
Third House: Communication, thoughts, language skills like writing and speaking, early schooling, siblings and neighbors, short trips, coming and going around town.
Fourth House: Your home, psychological foundations and roots, family, parents, domestic life, instinctive behavior, ancestry, your connection with the past, sense of security, domestic life, real estate. conditions at the end of life.
Fifth House: Children, creativity, romance; pleasure, entertainment, self-expression; all forms of “play”, speculation, gambling, and attitude towards taking risks; hobbies, attitude towards romance, lovers as opposed to partners, attitude towards having fun.
Sixth House: Work and job (as opposed to career), daily life, attitude towards service and coworkers, helpfulness, pets, attitude towards routine and organization, how you refine and perfect your skills.
Seventh House: Partnerships, one-to-one relationships, marriage, the first marriage, the “significant other”, business partnerships, competitors, open enemies, lawyers, mediators, counselors, contracts, negotiations, agreements. clients/the public.
Eighth House: Transformations and crisis, your ability to meet and rebound from crisis and change, sexuality; sex, death and rebirth, rituals and personal growth, your partner’s resources, addictions, psychology, other people’s money, taxes, divorce/alimony, inheritance.
Ninth House: Attitude toward expanding horizons, religious beliefs and personal philosophy, higher education, long-distance travel, morals, foreign languages and cultures, personal truths, publishing, commerce, advertising, your sense of adventure.
Tenth House: Career and profession, your contribution to society, social status, public reputation, material success, how you carve out a public identity for yourself; attitude toward authority figures, parents, caregivers, bosses, governments, attitude towards responsibility, desire for achievement.
Eleventh House: Friends, groups, organizations; hopes, wishes, aspirations, personal goals; your philanthropic attitude, concern for the collective, humanity; like tenth, can bring recognition and honors for fulfilling hopes and dreams.
Twelfth House: What’s hidden beneath the surface, karmic dustbin, limiting childhood/past-life messages, self-undoing, hidden enemies, hidden weaknesses, dreams, secret affairs, lost items, hospitals and prisons, hidden strengths, spiritual studies and soul growth.
A Sun: Our vitality and magnetism; self-identity, ego.
Roles: The Self, the Hero, the Performer, the King.
B Moon: Intuition, emotion, nurture.
Roles: The Mother, the High Priestess, the Child.
C Mercury: Mind; physical dexterity and mental agility.
Roles: The Thinker, the Communicator, the Student, the Trickster, the Merchant, the Thief.
D Venus: Our capacity for pleasure, receptivity, creativity, and social connection. Also indicates our relationships, self esteem, and financial abundance.
Roles: The Lover, the Seductress, the Artist.
E Mars: Desire, initiative, anger.
Roles: The Protector, the Athlete, the Warrior.
F Jupiter: Luck, opportunity, expansion, higher learning, religion.
Roles: The Scholar, the Gypsy, the Traveler, the Monk, the Professor.
G Saturn: Hard work, commitment, focus, inadequacy, leadership, suffering, loss.
Roles: The Task Master, the Grim Reaper, the Wise Old Man, the Builder, the Cynic, the Boss.
H Uranus: Change, breakthroughs, upsets, discoveries.
Roles: The Revolutionary, the Humanitarian, the Visionary, the Snob.
I Neptune: Imagination, spirituality, idealism, addictions, deception, compassion.
Roles: The Artist, the Romantic, the Guru, the Addict, the Martyr, the Victim.
J Pluto: Transformation, power, psychological dynamics, helplessness.
Roles: The Terrorist, the Detective, the Psychotherapist, the Dictator, shady people.
a Aries: Pioneering, competitive, selfish, impatient, courageous, reckless, independent, dynamic, domineering, “Me first!”
b Taurus: Patient, stable, lazy, dependable, practical, sensual, stubborn, artistic, possessive, greedy, gentle, loyal.
c Gemini: Intelligent, curious, adaptable, quick-witted, restless, clever, scatterbrained, lacking follow-through.
d Cancer: Nourishing, intuitive, protective, moody, sensitive, maternal, domestic, childish, cautious, creative.
e Leo: Proud, dignified, vain, expressive, romantic, generous, childish, overbearing, self-assured, creative.
f Virgo: Perfection-seeking, practical, methodical, petty, critical, studious, discriminating, cautious, never satisfied.
g Libra: Charming, sociable, peace-loving, refined, diplomatic, artistic, indecisive, apathetic, easily deterred.
h Scorpio: Passionate, secretive, penetrating, resourceful, suspicious, manipulative, jealous, sarcastic, intolerant, determined, aware.
i Sagittarius: Freedom-loving, philosophical, optimistic, enthusiastic, careless, impatient, talkative, a know-it-all, broadminded, athletic, honest.
j Capricorn: Serious, responsible, practical, hardworking, stubborn, brooding, inhibited, status-conscious, domineering, unforgiving.
k Aquarius: Progressive, individualistic, unpredictable, cold, intellectual, artistic, eccentric, shy, impersonal, scientific.
l Pisces: Compassionate, intuitive, ungrounded, romantic, impractical, self-sacrificing, seductive, musical, artistic.